An 'upside down' lighthouse at a world-renowned sea bird centre

With Rathlin West Light reached by boat, the seafaring excitement begins as soon as you leave the shores of Ballycastle.

The island is not only home to this unique lighthouse but also to thousands of seabirds who return to breed here including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars and puffins. The sights and sounds of so many seabirds at such close quarters is an experience you’ll never forget.Known as Ireland’s only ‘upside down’ lighthouse, be sure to take a tour of it and get a real insight into light keeping life.

Whether you love wildlife, are a bit of a history buff or simply want to experience life on an island and feel the wind in your face, Rathlin West Light is the place for you.

  • Irelands only  ‘upside down’ lighthouse
  • Rathlin Island is only 11 miles (18 kilometres) from the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.
  • Robert the Bruce, the famous Scottish King, is
 said to have taken refuge in a cave on Rathlin during a fight against the English in 1306. He was inspired to keep up the struggle for Scottish
    independence by a spider in the cave, which tried again and again to spin its web.
  • Over 250,000 seabirds return to breed on Rathlin Island every year. Fulmars, a grey and white seabird related to the albatross, can live for up to 40 years. Guillemots, which only come on land to nest, can dive to a depth of 180 metres underwater.
  • It is one of 70 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and continues to provide a vital role in maritime safety today.

Currently closed.


Admission Prices 2020

Adult: £5
Student (with valid ID): £3.50
Child: £2.50
RSPB Members Free

Useful Information

Ferries to Rathlin leave from Ballycastle. To reach the West Light, a private bus operates from the harbour. Alternatively it is a hilly 4.5 mile walk.

Getting There

Located on Rathlin Island

Map Location: 55.300516, -6.279335
Contact Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre

Rathlin Island, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

T: +44 (0)28 2076 0062
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